My Mondays just got tastier with a brand-new vegetarian food truck parked outside my office at lunchtime. I had a chance to chat with Aaron Cohen, the visionary behind Rhythm n’ Wraps, about his two loves: food and music.
Tell me about your food truck, Rhythm n’ Wraps.
Rhythm n’ Wraps was born from a lifelong love of food and music. We chef up fine vegetarian cuisine from around the world and transform it into delicious wraps and curries. Our recipes reflect our diverse palates and interests in offering a unique option in the food-truck world.
In a food-truck class at Harvard Adult Education Center, which was taught by Ann-Marie Aigner and Ron Sarni, two food-truck heavyweights, we were urged to bring our concept to the streets. We kept moving forward and earned the right to have a mobile vending license in Boston.
Oshinga, our head chef, was trained at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Cambridge. We have been friends for over 20 years. We met on a basketball court in Boston. I was a local basketball fanatic and he had just graduated from Assumption College, where he still holds the single-season block record.
From the name of your truck and the names of the wraps, it sounds like you have a past in the music world.
I enjoy bridging gaps and breaking down pessimistic views. My community is very multicultural, and as a result there are a lot of people who most likely wouldn’t cross paths but have. I enjoy bringing people together who may not ordinarily cross paths.
I manage a rapper called BoyCott Blues. He recorded two of my favorite songs with opera singer Sarah Kornfeld. BoyCott Blues’ first album, “Irony,” was a collaborative effort from my label, On Thin Ice Records, and Brick Records. It was given a perfect rating in The Phoenix by journalist Chris Faraone, who has recently published a few books, including “99 Nights with the 99 Percent,” which is about Occupy Boston.
I continue to manage deejay Nestle Quick, a living legend in the hip-hop world. He just returned from a tour with Boston’s own Edo G. The passion I have for music I have now channeled into my food truck. They are very similar in that they allow for self-expression.
I read that your truck is parked in a location that has more than its fair share of fried foods. Tell me about your choice to bring healthy vegetarian food to that neighborhood.
We live in a world full of choices. A food’s healthfullness is based primarily on its digestibility. We offer foods that are not only fresh, but also less taxing to the constitution. Even fried foods can be OK, if eaten in moderation with the proper spices that assist in digestion.
We love introducing our food to students and university people. The response at Boston University and Northeastern University has been tremendous. They are very appreciative of a healthy option for lunch. Before I tried to offer people “conscious rap,” and now I offer them “conscious wraps!”
My husband is always wary of faux meat. What would you recommend from your truck for a hard-core carnivore like him?
What determines the flavor of any protein? Aside from charring it, the flavor is in the seasonings! Our proteins are animal-free but flavorful enough to get the nod from the most adamant meat-lovers. While our food is not kosher, it’s kosher-style. There are no animal proteins, and the vegan cheese provides a total non-dairy option. I would tell your husband to definitely come and give us a try. We love a good challenge! We are at Morse Auditorium on Commonwealth Avenue on Mondays, at the intersection of Huntington Avenue and Opera Place on Tuesdays, across from Northeastern, and in the Financial District on Wednesday’s in Post Office Square on Franklin Street.
Four Questions is a weekly interview column featuring interesting people connected with the Greater Boston Jewish community. Find past columns here. Have an idea of someone we should interview? Email Molly!
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